Culinary Culture of Korea

Myongthae Peppery Soup

Walleye pollack (or Myongthae) has long been used in the dietary life of the Korean people. The fish is caught in a large quantity in the East Sea of Korea in midwinter.

The name myongthae is said to have been derived from the fact that a man surnamed Thae in Myongchon County of North Hamgyong Province had caught it for the first time.

Various kinds of dishes can be made with it including soup, fermented fish, hard-boiled food, sausages, fry and others. Among them, hot-tasting myongthae peppery soup is much favoured by the locals.

Peppery soup is a kind of pot-boiled soup made by pouring hot pepper paste into fish, meat and vegetables and boiling them in a pot.

The most popular meats for this dish are beef and pork, often mixed with bean curd and vegetables, hot pepper paste, Welsh onion, garlic, oil, soy sauce, black pepper, and other spices to particular tastes.

To prepare the dish, first gut and clean a fresh walleye pollack before cutting it into lengths of four to five centimeters, and slice the beef or pork before seasoning it with spices.

Cut the bean curd into thick pieces, Welsh onion into bite-size chunks, and washed crown daisy or parsley into five to six centimeter pieces.

Pour oil into a cooking pot and put the Welsh onion into it to fry. And then add the beef or pork to it and continue to fry. When your meat is cooked around 70 percent, put the fish pieces into it and pour hot pepper paste into it. Boil it for a while and remove the foam on the surface.

Then put your vegetables and bean curd into it. When the bean curd pieces float, season them with garlic, powdered sesame, black pepper, and other seasonings to your liking to improve its flavour. It is most often served in heated bowls.

Attractive with a fine blend of colours, aroma, and hot, walleye pollack peppery soup is well known as a health food in Korea.

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